Can we see a thought? Touch a thought? Taste a thought? None of the senses can witness a thought. It can only be witnessed by the mind. The thought is the expression of the mind. What is the nature of mind? Mind is linked to the senses. The senses perceive an object and relay that information to the mind. The mind responds to that object by saying, ‘I like it, or I do not like it. I want it, or I do not want it.’ The mind is accepting or rejecting. The mind is hankering for its wants and lamenting for its loses. This is the function of the mind—simply to perceive things through the senses and to react. The intelligence is subtler than the mind. The function of the intelligence is to discriminate. If the mind sees a beautiful object though the senses it thinks, ‘I want it.’ Now the intelligence starts figuring out ways to get that object.
Subtler than the intelligence is the ego. It is the ego that identifies with this whole phenomenon of intelligence, mind and the gross body and thinks that all of it is me. Beyond the ego is the soul. The soul is the real us. The soul is the person. The soul is the observer, the witness. The soul is the source of life.
by Radhanath Swami